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Hollywood Celebrities Buried in Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in the United States. It’s the final resting place of some of the country’s greatest heroes. More than 400,000 veterans from every major American conflict dating back to the Revolutionary War are buried in Arlington.

The cemetery is quite large. At 639 acres, it’s roughly the size of 472 football fields. There are about 30 funerals conducted on weekdays and seven on Saturdays. Still, the waitlist to get buried at Arlington National Cemetery can be lengthy, and the requirements are quite restrictive.

The cemetery was established during the Civil War. Over the years, many famous individuals have been laid to rest there. John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline, as well as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President William Howard Taft, are just a few of the highly influential individuals connected to US politics who are buried at Arlington.

Naturally, since so many classic Hollywood leading men and women served in the military, it makes sense that there would be quite a few film and television stars to be buried at Arlington as well. Join Facts Verse as we take a moment to pay our respects to the Hollywood Celebrities who are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Lee Marvin

This actor, known for his booming bass voice and prematurely gray hair, often played tough, no-nonsense gruff characters throughout his acting career. He got his start acting in 1950 and kept at it for more than three decades before retiring in 1968.

When he wasn’t on set or in front of a camera, Marvin was known for his off-the-wall and often reckless behavior, but when it came time to work, he was always a team player who did his best to ensure that his co-stars gave their best. Likely, this was a result of his military background.

Initially, Marvin was typecast in villainous roles, but he later rose to prominence for playing anti-heroes like Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger on NBC’s M Squad. A few of his other notable parts include playing Charlie Strom in the 1964 film The Killers, Rico Fardan in 1966s The Professionals, and Ben Rumson in 1969s  Paint Your Wagon.

After portraying both the gunfighter hero Kid Shelleen and the criminal Tim Strawn in the 1965 western comedy Cat Bailou alongside the lovely Jane Fonda, Marvin was honored with the Academy Award for Best Actor as well as a BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and several other coveted honors.

Marvin was a heavy smoker and drinker throughout the bulk of his adult life. These vices led to him having a number of health problems toward the end of his life. In 1986, the year that he retired from acting, Marvin was hospitalized for the better part of two weeks because of a condition called coccidioidomycosis. After going into respiratory distress, doctors were forced to administer steroids to help with his breathing. This treatment, unfortunately, led to him experiencing a major intestinal rupture which caused him to have to undergo a colostomy.

Several months later, on August 29, 1987, Marvin died of a heart attack at age 63. Due to his years of service in the United States Marine Corps, Marvin was given an honorabkle funeral with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

During his time serving his country, Marvin served as a sniper in the Pacific Theater during the second world war. Later on he participated in 21 Japanese island landings and was wounded in action when he was shot by a machine gun on June 18, 1944, during the assault on Mt. Tapochau in the Battle of Saipan.

For his valor, Marvin was decorated with the Purple Heart, The Presidential Unit Citation, the American Campaign Medal, and several other prestigious honors.

Jackie Cooper

This actor, TV director, producer, and executive got his start as a child actor. In fact, he was the first child to receive an Oscar nod. When he was 9, he became the youngest actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his appearance in the 1931 film Skippy.

For half a century, Cooper remained the youngest Oscar nominee in any category.

During World War II, Cooper served in the US Navy. He remained in the reserves until 1982 when he retired with the rank of Captain. For his valor in service, Cooper was awarded the Legion of Merit.

After returning from the war, Cooper made his way back to Hollywood, but instead of acting, he eventually turned to directing. He re-enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1961. At first, he was simply appearing in Naval Reserve recruitment ads, but eventually, he was convinced to rejoin. During his time in the Navy, cooper made training films and promotions but declined to promote the Vietnam War due to his personal feelings about the conflict.

Cooper died in 2011 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Priscilla Lane

Actress Priscilla Lane was best known for her roles in Hitchcock’s Saboteur, the Four Daughters trilogy, and Arsenic and Old Lace.

In 1942, she met and married Army Air Force Lieutenant Joseph A. Howard. After tying the knot with her new husband, Lane took a suspension from Warner Brothers so that she could travel with her spouse from base to base until he was shipped off overseas to fight in the second world war.

After getting married to Howard, Lane turned down numerous film role offers while explaining that marriage was a 24/7 job.

She didn’t return to acting until 1947, when she appeared in Fun On a Weekend. After the war was over,  Lane and Howard moved to Van Nuys, California, where Joseph worked as a contractor. They later moved to a lakefront home in Massachusetts.

Lane and Howard had four children together, Joseph, Judith, Hannah, and James. Lane eventually did some commercial work and briefly had a morning talk show in Boston called The Priscilla Lane Show. In 1972, Lane and her family moved to the Howard family farm in Derry, New Hampshire.

Howard passed away at 61 on May 8, 1976, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1994, Lane was diagnosed with lung cancer. After refusing radiation and chemotherapy treatments, she passed away in 1995. Following her death, Lane was laid to rest beside her husband in Arlington.

Dashiell Hammet

Hammet, born on May 27, 1984, was a writer, screenwriter, and political activist who penned a number of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. Among the iconic characters he created were Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon, Nick and Nora Charles of The Thin Man, Continental Op of Red Harvest and The Dain Curse, and the comic strip hero Secret Agent X-9.

Hammet is known for being one of the best mystery writers of all time. He also wrote screenplays for films like 1943s Watch On The Rhine, 1936s After The Thin Man, 1942s The Glass Key, and 1941s Shadow of the Thin Man.

In 1918, Hammett enlisted in the US Army. He served as a sergeant in the Motor Ambulance Corp. While serving, Hammett contracted tuberculosis, an ailment that would affect him for the remainder of his life. Because of his disease, he never got shipped overseas during World War 1. He was discharged in May 1919.

In addition to his writing, Hammett devoted much of his life to left-wing activism. Throughout the 30s, he was an avid antifascist, and in 1937, he joined the Communist Party. This move would prove to haunt him for decades.

During the second world war, Hammett enlisted in the Army once again after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served as a private and was honorably discharged as a Sargent three years later. After the war, Hammett returned to his activism. He was elected the president of the Civil Rights Congress in 1946. The CRC was designated a Communist front group of the US Attorney General in 1948.

Due to his Communist affiliation, Hammett was blacklisted by Hollywood in the late 40s and early 50s. After being brought before the US District Court Judge Sylvester Ryan in 1951 to testify about his work with the CRC, Hemmet refused to provide the government with the information that they wanted. He flat out refursed to give the names of individuals that contributed to a bail fund associated with the CRC meant to assist people deemed to be allies of the CRC and their aims.

After being found guilty of contempt of court, Hammet served time in a West Virginia prison. Following his release, Hammett’s popularity had declined substantially. He was brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1953 to testify about his own activities but he refused to comply with the committee.

After being blacklisted, Hammett became a hermit of sorts and fell deeply into alcoholism. He continued to write and do some advertising work but died of lung cancer on January 10, 1961. Being a veteran of both world wars, Hammett was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Audie Murphy

This actor, songwriter, and veteran was born in 1926.

Murphy was one of the most decorated US combat soldiers of the second world war. He, in fact, received every combat award of valor offered by the US Army, as well as many French and Belgian awards for his heroism.

He was honored with the Medal of Honor for valor for single-handedly holding off a company of German troops for a solid hour at Colmar Pocket in France in 1945. he then led a successful counterstrike while wounded and out of bullets. To make that story even more incredible, Audie was only 19 at the time.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Murphy falsified documents with the help of his sister so that he could meet the minimum age requirement to enlist. He saw action in the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943 and participated in the Battle of Anzio in 1944. He also participated in the invasion of southern France and the liberation of Rome.

After the war, Murphy enjoyed a successful acting career. He plaid himself in the 1955 autobiographical movie To hell and Back which was based on his 1949 memoirs. Following that role, he appeared in numerous westerns while making the occasional guest appearance on celebrity TV shows. He also starred in the NBC series Whispering Smith.

In addition to acting, Murphy was also a talented songwriter as well as a horse breeder.

Today, Murphy would have been diagnosed with PTSD. He slept with a loaded gun under his pillow and became addicted to sleeping pills. In his later years, he was plagued with financial problems but refused to appear in ads for alcohol or tobacco because he didn’t want to set a poor example for the youth.

He tragically died in a plane crash in Virginia in 1971, just a few days shy of his 46th birthday. He was laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

In addition to the names we’ve already covered, Wayne Morris, Constance Bennett, Phyllis Kirk, and Maureen O’Hara are also interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Of all of the stars buried in Arlington National Cemetery, who stands out to you as being particularly valiant? And can you think of any other well-known public figures or celebrities that have been laid to rest at the world-famous burial site? Let us know in the comments.

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